Sahrawi visual artist Mohamed Sleiman Labat has been documenting life in the Sahrawi Refugee camps for over 10 years. He was born there, and he has been living and working there ever since. The photographs he has captured were taken in the five different refugee camps of Samara, Dakhla, Auserd, Layun and Boujdour.

The Sahrawi Refugee Camps are located in southwest Algeria, close to the border town of Tindouf. The Camps were established in 1975 following the mass dislocation of the Sahrawi people from their homeland of Western Sahara. According to the UNHCR, there are approximately 173,000 people living in five refugee camps. The five camps are named after cities, villages and geographic places in Western Sahara. Upon their arrival, the Sahrawi people first built tents for the arriving families to live in. They also established hospitals, schools and other administrative facilities to organize life in the camps. 

The photos are part of an on-going research project to document life in the Sahrawi Refugee Camps. Our photographic library is in the neighborhood of one million photographs and archival materials. If you are interested in using any of them or would like to see more archival photos, please contact us here

We will be adding more photographs to this page in the future.